Flying Key Ornaments
Who can forget the flying key scene from the first Harry Potter movie! So naturally, when I decided to create a Harry Potter Christmas tree, I immediately starting thinking of a way to make a flying key ornament. It turned out to be easier than I thought. Excluding the curing time for the clay and the drying time for the paint, the entire project takes about 30 minutes. And I’ll let you in on a secret–you can relax on the couch with a glass of wine between steps.
- epoxy clay
- silicone key mold
- gold spray paint
- adhesive-backed transparency paper
- Angelina film (I used the Aurora Borealis color)
- black 3/8 velvet ribbon
The first step is to make the keys. Although using metal vintage keys would have saved time, I wanted the ornaments to be larger and more impactful so that they would be visible from a distance. Molding them out of clay was the perfect solution. I love working with epoxy clay because it cures in a few hours and is more durable than other clays. Mix equal parts of the resin and hardener and press a small amount into your mold. Leave the clay in the mold for an hour, or until the clay is firm. Gently bend the mold back to remove the key and set it aside to cure for at least 6 hours.
After the key has cured completely, lightly sand the edges and spray it. It’s better to spray it with two or three light coats than to try to cover completely in one coat. The key will need to dry for several hours before you proceed to the next step.
Next, download the wing pattern and print it on the transparency paper. Make sure that you are printing on the shiny side, not the white backing that covers the side with the adhesive. Allow them to dry for a minimum of ten minutes to prevent smudging before cutting out the four wings. At this point, it is not necessary to follow the outline closely. You just want to remove the majority of the background around each set of wings. Peel the white backing off and lay the Angelina film over the side with the adhesive, being careful to smooth out any wrinkles. If there are any bubbles, you can gently press them out. I used a popsicle stick because I happened to have one nearby, but a credit card would have also gotten the job done. Cut the wings out and fold each side slightly so that the wings appear to be in motion.
The Flying Keys Take Off
When the clay has cured, lightly sand the keys and apply two or three light coats of spray paint. After they have dried, attach the wings to the back of the keys using a small amount of glue on the back of the key. A couple of small drops will be adequate because you don’t want the glue to ooze out onto the wings. Cut an 11″ length of ribbon and thread it through the top of the key. Tie a knot it at the top, trim the edges (I like to cut mine at an angle), and hang your flying key ornament from the tree. Finally, step back and take a minute or two to admire your work. A De Niro nod is definitely appropriate here.